Around Greenville: Budget Dinner

by   |   estephen@bju.edu   |  
Tirado's empanadas, Greenville budget dinner

Sometimes the thought of cooking is just too much. Looking for somewhere delicious and inexpensive to take a date, your parents, your friends, yourself? If you’re looking for a Greenville budget dinner, there’s plenty of places near the BJU campus to choose from. Here’s a list of great Greenville-based restaurants for those nights you want to treat yourself without breaking the bank.

See Also: Around Greenville: Pizza Places

Green Tomato Buffet

Website: greentomatogreenville.com

Monday–Saturday: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.

The Green Tomato lets you pay per plate, making it an excellent choice for big appetites and lean wallets. Located out on Woodruff Road, the Green Tomato is a locally owned and operated all-you-can-eat buffet that follows a meat and veggie format, including a full dessert and salad bar. Go to Green Tomato for classic southern dishes like fried okra, Salisbury steak, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and of course fried green tomatoes. Their Monday through Thursday price is $8.99, $10.49 on Fridays and Saturdays, and $11.99 on Sunday. They also let you order takeout at $4.99 per pound of food (or $5.95 if all you want to take home is a meat selection).

Pita House

Website: pitahousesc.com

Monday–Saturday:
Grocery and Deli: 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Restaurant: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

Pita House serves up Middle Eastern dishes in massive portions. With plenty of dietary options (including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan), Pita House will treat you to heaping plates of shawarma, gyro, lentil or rice pilaf, falafel, kababs and more. Their meals average around $7 (kabab plates go up to $13), but the portion sizes are big enough for you to eat half and save the rest for a rainy day.

Note that Pita House only accepts cash and checks.

Sacha’s

Website: sachascafe.com

Sunday: Closed
Monday: 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Tuesday–Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 a.m.

Sacha’s is another international entry on our list, only they serve up recipes from the south of the border. Delicious authentic Colombian combinations make up their generous menu, alongside some North American favorites like burgers, fries, loaded hot dogs and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Test your palate on patacones (fried plantains), arepas (cornmeal patties), tortas (Mexican sandwiches), hogao (Colombian tomato and onion sauce), and other incredible combinations. Most meals are under $10 and are big enough to save half for later.

Tirado’s

Website: tiradosempanadas.com

Thursday–Friday: 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Tirado’s is another international eatery featuring lunch favorites from Puerto Rico. Tirado’s claim to fame is fresh empanadas, a hand-formed puff pastry packed with a meaty, cheesy filling. Their empanada basket includes one pastry, rice, beans, and your choice of cabbage salad (think coleslaw) or potato salad, and costs under $6. But they’ve got more than empanadas: you can also order papa rellena (potato fritters), surullitos (fried corn sticks), tostones (fried green plantain), or choose from a list of flavorful sandwiches ($7.75), including the breadless jibarito (chicken, pork or steak on seasoned plantains). They have limited operating hours, but this 2013 winner of Food Network’s Food Court Wars is worth the wait.

Wings on the Run

Website: wingsontherun.net

Sunday–Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Wednesday–Thursday: 10:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday: 10:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

Wings on the Run is a great place to get chicken wings, but there’s more to their menu than that. Order your wings by count (6-count is $5.79) and select from a long list of flavoring and sauce options. You can also order combos ($9.99) that bundle your choice of a side and a drink with a chicken sandwich or wrap, fried fish, fried shrimp or a hot dog. They’ve also got a selection of fresh salads and a list of fried munchable favorites, like fried mushrooms, breaded zucchini slices and mozzarella sticks. Rounded out with a constantly rotating menu of homemade dessert options, this all-American eatery offers a variety of affordable, portable meals, making it a great choice for a Greenville budget dinner.

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Emma Galloway Stephens is a writer and faculty liaison in BJU’s Marketing department as well as an adjunct writing faculty member.